If you’re going to get down with the Iceland sound and you can’t make heads or tails of Bjork, then Vök (which means a little hole in the ice or a crack in the cloud) aren’t the worst place to start. The former-duo-now-trio of Margrét Rán Magnúsdóttir, Andri Enoksson, and Ólafur Alexander create vivid, glacial electronic-pop soundscapes that are both pointed and wistful all at once. Of course, they’ve made huge fans out of us here, so we managed to grab a quick exchange with them ahead of their headline London gig at the Lexington…
So we’ll admit we’ve never been to Iceland and don’t know much about. Tell us your top three things about it.
1) Downtown Reykjavík. It’s very small, but it has a lot of really nice restaurants, bars and so on. The nightlife in Reykjavík can be pretty crazy too. 2) Margrét’s father’s summerhouse in southern Iceland. It’s a little more than a one hour drive from Reykjavík and we go there as often we can to write and compose. It’s really nice to leave the city for a long weekend and be a little isolated in nature. 3) Southern Iceland. In southern Iceland you find magnificent landscapes. Wide open spaces, black beaches, glaciers, waterfalls and all that good stuff. We shot our new music video to ‘Waiting’ in these places and we completely fell in love with nature again.
How has the country inspired your sound? Do you take inspiration from other Icelandic acts?
In Iceland the winter is 9 months long and during that time we don’t get that much daylight and sunshine. In our opinion that fact plays a pretty big role in how the country influences us but of course so does the nature and landscapes. We wouldn’t say that we take much inspiration from Icelandic music but we really love the Icelandic music scene, it’s so creative.
You guys are a trio – how does the writing process work? What do you do in case of disagreements? Who gets the final say?
Usually it starts with a beat and a melody , then we meet up and build on that together. Usually we don’t have that many conflicts but when we do Margrét usually has the final say. She has LSD – Lead Singer Disorder!
We’ve been in love with all your work, but ‘Waiting’ in particular is stunning. Tell us about the message behind both the song and the video.
Thank you. The first demo of the song came about last summer when Margrét was dreaming about tropical beaches and nice warm places. ‘White Sand’ was actually the working title for the track before we wrote the lyrics. It’s probably the reason why it’s a bit warmer and more upbeat than some our previous work. The video is a complete contrast to the song. We shot it this winter in southern Iceland, like we mentioned before and it’s pretty much about just showcasing how beautiful Iceland is. We have some really cool and abstract drone shots and we’re all really happy about the outcome.
What are you guys hoping to achieve with your music?
Our goal would be to perform full time and for as long as we can. We are really excited to make a full length album and it’s the dream to make a good one.
Is there anyone out there you’d like to collaborate or write with?
Massive Attack, Moby and Portishead.
What are you all listening to at the moment?
Daughter, Friends, Air, Maribou Sate, Jamie xx and lot of other stuff. We are on a month tour right now so we have to have a lot of music for the car.
Final question that we ask everyone: what’s your favourite Beyonce song?
Run the World (Girls)!